Daimler and Mercedes-Benz accelerate their EV plan

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Image of article titled Mercedes steps up EV plans

Picture: Mercedes-Benz

Daimler is ramping up its electrification strategy, Honda is tackling third-party lease returns, and Italy’s most famous design house will make American electric pickup trucks look pretty. All this and more in today’s Friday edition of The morning shift by July 9, 2021.

1st gear: automaker says electric vehicles are going to be a big deal

These electric vehicles – insiders call them VE – really advertise themselves as something. One company has even said it expects the vast majority of the cars it sells by the end of the decade will be purely battery-powered. Wow! Of Automotive News:

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is stepping up the pace of its transition to electric mobility and plans to largely phase out internal combustion engines before the end of the decade.

“We are moving from EV first to EV only,” said a senior executive familiar with the plan. Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.

This means that each series of models will have a fully electric version, while production, sales and structures will be transferred to a business without diesel and gasoline engines.

Every two weeks, another major automaker votes on how many electric cars it plans to sell by 2030 or 2035, or how many internal combustion vehicles it plans to sell. habit be on sale. The fact that Daimler put the split at around 50/50 before and this recent change of mind tells me less about how dedicated it is to EVs, and more that it has realized that the rest of the industry has been more optimistic with his posts. Daimler has failed to match the language of its competitors, and that may seem less ambitious to potential shareholders.

Eventually, gasoline-powered cars will largely disappear, yes. But the constant prognosis right now between manufacturers about what things will look like a decade into the future is a nerve-racking contest that will have no basis in reality for quite a while. Maybe four or five years from now we’ll have a clearer picture of which brands were genuinely proactive and took the actions they announced, and which were faking it.

2nd Gear: Keep it in the family, says Honda

New cars are scarce at the moment, as are the chips to make them. This puts a lot of pressure on the second-hand market. That’s why in the future Honda and Acura make sure that when the time comes to make that Pilot or Odyssey or RSX (they still don’t, do they? I don’t know) not – it was the last Acura I worried about) after a lease you do it at your local, authorized Honda or Acura dealership, rather than a competitor who might offer you a favorable trade-in offer to get you into one of their cars. Going through Automotive News:

The automaker said Thursday it would require drivers with expiring leases to return their vehicles to authorized Honda and Acura dealerships and refuse to accept buyouts from unaffiliated dealers or others. Honda cited the tight supply of cars and trucks due to shortages of critical components and congestion at ports as the economy recovers.

The Japanese company is the latest automaker to gain more control over leases – and increase inventory – by limiting vehicle returns to its own dealer network. The industry has struggled to meet consumer demand in recent months due to a global semiconductor shortage, which has reduced production and raised prices for used cars.

“Our goal is to ensure that our dealers have access to quality used Honda and Acura vehicles to meet the needs of new and old customers,” said Petar Vucurevic, vice president of Honda’s finance arm, in a press release.

What is most surprising about this is that the policy change would apply to existing leases in addition to the new ones. I had no idea they could do this legally, and part of me wonders if once the tenants find out about it, a few don’t try to take a class action lawsuit or something like that. Here again, Honda is apparently far from the only manufacturer to take this position. In the end it’s fair another thing to consider when buying a lease.

Gear 3: The power of 5G will apparently also make remote-controlled cars a thing

Startup Named Halo takes to Las Vegas streets with driverless carsharing service part of the time, in that the car comes to you with no one in it, then you use it, and from there it goes again to the next customer totally unmanned.

How does Halo accomplish this feat? Is it by completely autonomous operation? No – in fact there will be drivers, they will be just somewhere else with PlayStation controllers, rather than in the car. (OK, they probably don’t use controllers, it’s just fun for me to think about it.) The edge:

The idea is quite simple: Halo employs remote drivers to drive the vehicles, delivering them to waiting customers who then get behind the wheel and take the car to their destination. When the trip is over, the car moves on to its next remote-controlled pickup. Halo is also currently conducting test drives with safety drivers in vehicles, which it says it does not include when launching the service for paid customers. It’s easier said than done.

We have talked about how remote control cars make a lot of sense for automakers in that it is very difficult and expensive to get computers to drive a car, while getting a human to drive a car remotely from a country with extremely low wages is relatively straightforward. A a few car manufacturers have already dipped their toes into the TVfield of operation.

The point is, for something like this to work, low-latency, ultra-wideband 5G doesn’t just have to be available in the area of ​​operation – it has to be. guaranteed. Semi-autonomous cars don’t need perfect cellular service to function (although they can benefit from it), but remote-controlled cars like the ones in Halo absolutely do.

This is somewhat worrying, as the rollout of 5G has been a bit of a mess. “5G” is actually a jumble of different standards and technologies with very different performance goals. The version of 5G that Halo cars will need – millimeter wave 5G – is very fast but also very limited in range, and requires a dense mesh network of nodes because line of sight is required to reach devices. It is also to be burp from lack of specter available to carriers now.

All that to say that I’m very curious about how far Halo goes with this plan. Hopefully in a year or two I can test it in person at CES.

4th gear: Famous truck designer, Pininfarina

Pininfarin. It is a synonym for automotive beauty. Many of the most coveted Italian cars in history, including many Ferrari models, were designed by the forward-thinking company. designers. And now, apparently, battery-powered electric vans will be too. Courtesy of a Press release of the start-up EV Hercules:

Under the terms of the deal, Italian design firm Pininfarina will design for the Detroit automaker the Hercules Alpha pickup and other products to be announced at a later date. The two companies expect to start a collaboration immediately. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

The heavy-duty luxury Alpha pickup, which will be available in late 2022, will offer powertrain configurations that produce over 1,000 hp through a torque-vector four-motor drive system. The motors provide independent torque control for incredible stability and ultimate performance.

A Pininfarina truck! This isn’t the first time Pininfarina has paid attention to a vehicle that isn’t a sports car, coupe, or sedan, but American pickup trucks are certainly not what they’re generally known for. At present, the Hercules Alpha wholesale looks like a pastiche of every EV truck you’ve ever seen, so it will be interesting to see Pininfarina attempt to distinguish it.

5th gear: Nio will build battery swap stations like everyone else builds chargers

By 2025, Nio expects to have 3,700 more battery swap stations in China than the roughly 300 it has today. This is bold, because virtually every electric vehicle manufacturer outside the country has taken poop arguments for that. Again, from Automotive News:

Having now sold around 120,000 electric vehicles, Nio will make offering more charging stations a priority, Chairman and co-founder Qin Lihong said at a press conference in Shanghai to mark the first Power Day on Friday. by Nio.

Range anxiety has been a major barrier to electric vehicle adoption, especially in a country like China where distances can be vast. Rival Tesla Inc. has built more than 850 so-called supercharging or fast-charging stations and 6,500 charging stations in China.

Nio got pretty good at it over the past couple of years, which is encouraging in the face of all opponents who remain skeptical about the usefulness of on-the-fly battery swaps. I’m not saying they’re the solution to all EV problems – these stations require massive footprints and a level of quality control absolutely must be guaranteed so that you don’t end up inheriting a lemon. a battery. On the other hand, it’s nice to see someone try and obviously succeed, instead of standing in a corner of the room with their arms crossed and shaking their head, saying “I don’t … I don’t. dunno about this. “

Reverse: the manufacturer of aircraft engines BMW takes up a new challenge

BMW, a reputable manufacturer of aircraft and motorcycle engines and farm equipment, ran ads in local newspapers July 9, 1929 that he was now in the business of manufacturing cars. It had actually started producing its first model, the Austin 7-based Dixi 3/15, the year before. But, you know, the news traveled a little slower back then.

Neutral: I saw F9 last night

It was a feverish dream. I can remember flashes of things that happened, but I can’t string them together into a seemingly cohesive whole. There were a fucking ton of magnets, ICP would have loved. Vin Diesel’s skull burst through a doorframe with not a scratch, a cut, a bruise on his body. There were a lot of cars but unfortunately few I was surprised to see. It was the best stupid movie I have ever seen in theaters.


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